NORML Responds to Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions Caricature

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is back in the news with comments on marijuana today. On the plus side, as Tom Angell states over at Mass Roots and Russ Belville here at Weed News, the AG agreed that former President Barack Obama’s Cole Memo is “valid” to determine appropriate federal enforcement of cannabis laws. On the horrible side, Sessions believes that weed is only “slightly less awful” than heroin, as Radical Russ Belville covered. (UPDATE: As Russ Belville notes, the “slightly less awful” language was in Sessions prepared remarks, but he didn’t actually state them.)

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) decided to correct Jeff Sessions on whether America will be better off by ending the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition in a press release:


Washington, DC: In prepared remarks today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said:

I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store.  And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.  Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.

Mr. Sessions is wrong.

“With over 600,000 arrests a year, the only thing life-wrecking about marijuana is its prohibition.” responded Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director.

Read more about how permitting legal access to cannabis is consistently associated with reduced rates of opioid use, abuse, and mortality published in The Hill by NORML’s Paul Armentano.


NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.

Hopefully, Jeff Sessions will receive some education on cannabis and cannabis policy before making any changes to federal policy. Although, with the Russian scandal implicating the AG and much of the Donald Trump Administration, it will be rather amazing if they find much time to mess with marijuana, but will continue to watch, report and remain vigilant.

Caricature credit: Donkeyhotey

Anthony Johnson
About Anthony Johnson 153 Articles
Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the Political Action Committee responsible for Oregon's Measure 91 cannabis legalization campaign and co-owner of Duff Johnson Consulting. As Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Anthony served on the state's initial Marijuana Advisory Committee and he continues to advocate for sensible policies that decrease unnecessary arrests, protect patients' safe access, and help small businesses. With Duff Johnson Consulting, Anthony helps cannabis farmers, processors, retailers, and ancillary businesses with licensing, compliance, public relations, and marketing. DJC clients include the International Cannabis Business Conference, the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, Cannabliss, Natural Roots, and numerous medical cannabis cultivators that provide free cannabis to patients in need.Anthony co-hosts the Let's Hash It Out podcast, available here on Weed News, at, Sound Cloud, iTunes, and Stitcher. Anthony's blogs on Weed News are personal and don't necessarily reflect the views of any organization or company.